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Prozac for 5 year old?


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#26 timew

Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:34 AM

The paed does not have a good reputation and I will hold off on giving him the medication.

Earlier today I sent an email to the psych, getting quite testy with the delay in assessment. She responded saying sorry she hasn't done it yet but she's been busy. She said she'll do it today (but can she successfully do this without consulting the paed, his school etc? She's only met him once) and he's likely to require Risperidone.

He had a meltdown when she met him. He was doing something fun at home and wanted a particular toy in the room. But he no longer has meltdowns at home, or down the street when we have strict rules and rewards, or other places he is comfortable. It's just when he has to do lots of things at once (ie. when the school bell rings and he has to pack up his bag, when it's time to change from one activity to the next, or a new process).

It is only in this situations, and of course this being his first year at school there are a lot of new people, activities and rules to deal with.

I'm really unsure about these medications. I don't know the difference, and I don't know why a paed would give me one after 10 minutes of talking to me, and the psych would recommend a different one based on one hour.

I'm going to broach with the school holding him off this year. It seems as though I have to make some serious decisions over the next few weeks and I don't want to have the pressure of school expulsion there to boot.

#27 mayahlb

Posted 15 March 2019 - 02:43 PM

A psych should also not be recommending specific medications unless they are psychiatrist and not a psychologist.  Especially not risperidone when something else hasn't been trialed yet. Our psychologist had mentioned medication, but stated it would be a pead or child psychiatrist who would provide the information on what would work best. Risperidone has it's place and can make a significant impact on the daily life of the people who take it, but it's a heavy duty drug. Other options, like Lovan/prozac should be trialed first.

(For the record, Lovan is a SSRI, it impacts the serotonin uptake receptors which then helps with anxiety and depression. Resperidone is an anti-psychotic which can improve anxiety and behavior in cases but also comes with a life-time limiting on how long it can be used and some potentially life changing side effects including early puberty and a range of other issues. Most children I know who have been places on it have trialed a number of different SSRIs first)

I'm really sorry the specialists you seem to be around seem to be providing you with such confusing and contradicting information.

Edited by mayahlb, 15 March 2019 - 02:44 PM.


#28 timew

Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:23 PM

Wow mayahib - that's appalling and I had no idea it was not her role to recommend medication. When we met her last time she said he should try Catapres (?) - I mentioned this to the paed who shook his head.

Thanks for all your feedback. I've gone from feeling a bit lost to so angry at this.

The psych has agreed to see me on Wed. As much as I'd love to, I don't see any point in becoming furious with her. But what if she provides a diagnosis I'm not comfortable with - do we start again? I can't see how she could possibly diagnose his condition and recommend Resperidone without actually speaking to anyone (besides the weekly OT - they work in the same building) who knows my son and his behaviour. And who only met us once.

The new paed has put me on his cancellation list - apparently they get cancellations frequently which works for us.

#29 Mollycoddle

Posted 15 March 2019 - 03:44 PM

This will be the next port of call for me for DS (almost 8).  ASD and ADHD, on Ritalin but still having issues with aggression and violence at school.  Only the school setting, at home where he's comfortable he's fine.  Obviously there are triggers throughout the school day but you can never, ever get the reasons for the behaviour out of him at the time.  He may tell you later at night when you ask him why he did X, Y or Z but even then you don't know if he's making it up.  Oftentimes we think he can't even articulate it himself, he's just feeling very uncomfortable or distressed and acting out as a result.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 15 March 2019 - 03:44 PM.


#30 mayahlb

Posted 15 March 2019 - 04:49 PM

Going from catapres to resperidone is a huge jump! (catapres is a blood pressure medication that can help with sleep in small doses and also have "calming" effect, though we saw absolutely no improvement on it with my child with adhd.) And yes a psychologist can mention medications and may even have some knowledge of medication but they should not be recommending specific medications or that you get a prescription for a certain medication. They are not medical practitioner, they have a degree in psychology.

A psychiatrist on the other hand has similar training in psychology but is also a medical doctor, specializing in how medications work for mental illnesses.

I would be talking to her about diagnosis pathways but maybe state you would prefer she does not bring medication into the conversation, as you will address that with the pediatrician. That you are mostly interested in diagnosis assessments and intervention behavior therapies. She might be really good at her job, but her job isn't about saying your child should be taking x.

I hope the new pead is helpful and can guide your through all of this. Any diagnosis pathway is confusing and emotionally fraught, without specialists talking cross-purposes with you and over stepping the mark.

Edited by mayahlb, 15 March 2019 - 07:38 PM.


#31 Mum_tutu

Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:40 PM

Hi, glad you have received lots of useful advice.
I know this is not quite the question you asked but I am wondering whether you have heard of Pathological Demand Avoidance? It is a profile of ASD. Looks similar to ODD, which I saw the psych mentioned, but stems from anxiety and need to control. Your initial behavioural description (especially refusal to do things at home, but it is also linked to explosive/violent outbursts (due to anxiety)) in your post made me think of it (my son has it). PDA society has some good online info on it...
Good luck with it all - I am also trying to wade through the jungle of medication advice for my diagnosed 5 y old...

#32 Charli73

Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:50 PM

Timew I would get your diagnosis first. Usually a behavioral paed and psych needs to both agree... after meeting a couple of times not after 10 mins.. I would be wary too.

My DS stared on Lovan but was moved to Respridone and Ritalin adfter we added ADHD and ODD to his Aspergers diagnosis two years later. School has been a challenge but the meds make his Life and our life so much better. The difference is life changing.

If you want to PM me I’m happy to answer any questions if you have, plenty of parents here going through the same thing so please don’t feel like you’re alone on this path.

#33 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 16 March 2019 - 08:01 PM

Anytime someone mentions ODD and high anxiety I suggest reading about PDA too. DD has it, when we read the materials it was like ‘when did you meet my child?!’

She is 5 and I am considering medicating for anxiety if things haven’t settled by a month into Term 2. I am worried her anxiety is  increasing  not decreasing the longer she has been in FYOS.

We have been medicating 2 of our children to sleep every night for a couple of years now so starting from when one was 2yo.  The huge improvements in their lives we have seen make me feel very relaxed about medicating DD for anxiety should we decide it is needed.

None of which makes medicating right for your DS. If it is right though, I would not put it off merely because he is 5yo and not 10 or 14.

#34 Mum_tutu

Posted 16 March 2019 - 08:54 PM

View PostChaotic Pogo, on 16 March 2019 - 08:01 PM, said:



She is 5 and I am considering medicating for anxiety if things haven’t settled by a month into Term 2. I am worried her anxiety is  increasing  not decreasing the longer she has been in FYOS

Chaotic Pogo not meaning to hijack, but can I ask what you are seeing with FYOS? Curious as my DS (PDA also) is also in FYOS and it is getting too much for him. He is totally stressed at home and back to letting things out. We were suggested medication prior to this for aggression but I am thinking more for anxiety is what is called for. Do you have a medication that has been recommended?

#35 Chaotic Pogo

Posted 16 March 2019 - 09:27 PM

Things like she’s starting to lose it in public eg meltdown in the schoolyard after school, not just at home. She is having some ‘challenges ‘ at school where she becomes very resistant to following instructions (well yes that would be the PDA wouldnt it!!)
She really escalated violence at home against me and her brothers and I am worried it’s becoming an automatic go to as soon as she is stressed. That’s settled a little lately which is why we have put off doing anything a while longer.

Nothing recommended to us but our dev paed has been very matter of fact about trialling medication ‘if and when’ we need to, as in she kinds of expects it will be needed at some point as social complexity increases at school.  I just kind of assumed it would be Lovan/Prozac/Flextime because that’s what other anxious kids I know are on.  My understanding is that it is anxiety the paed is expecting to need to medicate for, the violence is just a side effect of anxiety.

Edit typos

Edited by Chaotic Pogo, 16 March 2019 - 09:28 PM.


#36 Navy Blue

Posted 16 March 2019 - 09:52 PM

Sounds like my experience with DS OP. First paed appt, no official diagnosis (suspected asd, adhd, odd, pdd) and we'd barely got there and got a script for respiridone.

I held off on filling it. A few months later we got the official diagnosis. He was really struggling by this point and we decided to try the meds. Yes they are hard core, but he's on a low dose, and we are regularly reviewed by the paed. It's worked very well in our case.

It's a hard choice OP, and we had lots of people telling us not to do it. At the end of the day though it's you who has to manage your child and family's needs as best you can.

#37 timew

Posted 30 March 2019 - 09:03 PM

Hi everyone. Thanks for your feedback and support, it has meant a lot. In the end we put him on 5mg Lovan (paed recommended 10mg). He was experiencing side-effects - difficult to fall asleep and quite overheated at night. I took him off it 2 weeks later, it was negligent to put him on medication this without a diagnosis and subsequent specialist advice. We've yet to see the paed.

However, we received the psych assessment report and he has been diagnosed with level 2 autism & ODD. I think when the psych visited the school she was shocked by his aggressive behaviour and school feedback. She immediately stepped up, has been so supportive since then, and arranged a Skype consult with a child psychiatrist, both for behavioural support and experience in medication with young children. She has also highly recommended he attend the local Aspect school. I've left an msg for the Aspect coordinator.

I'm feeling relieved and looking forward to the next few months. Except for this, and I don't know if I'm not seeing the wood for the trees and if I've lost perspective along the way.

When we moved to this area 3 years ago I gave up a well-paid job I adored. We didn't realise that it would be so difficult for me to find a similar job - well, any job really. I've been working contractually for most of the time. This year I've been without a job, which has worked quite well given the school holidays and attending relevant specialist appointments and responding to the school when required.

My husband has been pressuring me to find a position. He is sceptical of the diagnosis and believes that the school needs to adopt the appropriate approach and everything else will 'even out' over the next year or two. He doesn't believe Aspect is required and is someone very  set in his way. He says things that make me realise he doesn't understand the magnitude of our responsibility - for example suggested we threaten our son with going to Aspect if he doesn't start behaving himself. He hasn't read the report or researched ODD.

A great job came up last week. Well-paid, suited to my skills. I've been avoiding looking at F/T roles however half-heartedly applied and of course got a call from the company the next day asking me to come in for an interview. I've worked with the company before and worked on numerous times with the person who would be my Manager. It's almost certain I will get this job. I know this Manager to be inflexible.

My husband has suggested we can share the weekly appointments and my son will have to go to OOSC in the afternoons. My son loved visiting OOSC to pick up his older brother last year, however I've seen him if we stay for last year when picking up his brother - furious at losing board games, violent in games of tag and running away often. It is not viable.

I don't know whether to say to convince myself that my husband and I can make it work - he can work flexible hours most times however I honestly cannot see him committing to daily school pickups every day. And I hate that my son, who is very close to me, won't see me until closer to 6pm every night. My husband thinks I can demand flexible hours. I know I don't like not working.

This might be completely garbled, or much more clear to you than to me. Basically: it is likely I'll be offered a well-paid F/T job. My husband believes this can be achieved easily and grossly minimises any changes required for our son. I'm worried that it is a huge mistake. I'm not sure even what I'm writing at the moment, let alone if it is making sense to you.

#38 CallMeFeral

Posted 30 March 2019 - 09:23 PM

I'm glad you're feeling better diagnosis wise.

That's a really tough decision. And I'm sorry your husband is in denial about the issues. Can you give a heads up to the new boss that flexibility will be crucial in you accepting the role (ideally after you get an offer touch wood)? And if you start and have to quit - how bad is it, will it destroy the industry for you or just that job?
A side of me agrees that it would be so hard. Another side of me says that if your DH starts having to pick up more of the slack re your sons appointments and school pickups and so on, he may start to understand better.

#39 José

Posted 31 March 2019 - 05:17 AM

i have a DS with some additional needs.
school wears him out. there's no way we could expect him to manage before or after school care. he just wouldnt have the capacity.
so, i do morning drop off and start work a little later and DH does afternoon pick ups and starts and finishes work early.
its meant we have both missed out on promotions. me because it would mean slightly more travel and i couldn't drop DS to school and get to work on time and DH because they need someone around in the afternoon.
its just what we need to do. DSs difficulties arent by choice, he is doing his best. And we need to do our best to support him.
if we did try to send him to OOSH id be so worried about him each day.  its less stressful as well to know he's safe at home with DH.

#40 Navy Blue

Posted 31 March 2019 - 07:59 AM

Would it be possible to get a nanny to pick up your DS each afternoon and take him home?

A uni student studying OT or similar would be ideal.

#41 timew

Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:47 AM

You're right. After school care is not viable. Both sons are quite close to the carer however it would just be too much, and I'd be stressed waiting til 5pm until I leave.

I will look for a nanny, that's a good idea. There is a uni close by so will see how I go.

There are options! I think I was getting too wound up in my head to consider alternatives.

#42 Navy Blue

Posted 31 March 2019 - 12:40 PM

With a diagnosis you will also be eligible for NDIS funding. You can apply for a support worker (nanny) to be funded for your DS after school if he is unable to attend ASC. I tried but got knocked back, if you got reports supporting this need you might fare better.

When I was going through the diagnostic process with my DS everyone was saying 'there's nothing wrong with him, he's just different'. Now post diagnosis, and receiving the support he requires, those same people are saying 'isn't it great you got him the help he needs'.

Yes there are still ups and downs, but H and everyone else now realises that it's not about keeping up a facade of 'he's normal' but stepping up and meeting his needs.

#43 José

Posted 31 March 2019 - 01:04 PM

View PostNavy Blue, on 31 March 2019 - 12:40 PM, said:

With a diagnosis you will also be eligible for NDIS funding. You can apply for a support worker (nanny) to be funded for your DS after school if he is unable to attend ASC. I tried but got knocked back, if you got reports supporting this need you might fare better.


you can request this.
its highly unlikely to be funded through NDIS.

#44 Navy Blue

Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:32 PM

^ It is difficult to get.

If you are self managed though, you are able to 'employ' your own staff. If it is indicated in the plan that OP's child requires a support worker at times this could be a way to do it.

As I said I got knocked back, as it is preferred that the child attends a regular centre and they are to apply for funding for an additional staff member. My child is a runner and can be aggressive, so 1:1 at home is best for him. Lucky we've been able to change things around to make it work.

#45 José

Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:47 PM

View PostNavy Blue, on 31 March 2019 - 02:32 PM, said:

^ It is difficult to get.

If you are self managed though, you are able to 'employ' your own staff. If it is indicated in the plan that OP's child requires a support worker at times this could be a way to do it.

As I said I got knocked back, as it is preferred that the child attends a regular centre and they are to apply for funding for an additional staff member. My child is a runner and can be aggressive, so 1:1 at home is best for him. Lucky we've been able to change things around to make it work.

yes, agree thats preferred and probably expected.
also, at such a young age NDIS like to say its 'parental responsibility' to provide care for children.
i know quite a number of people who applied for this and none got it.
i dont think you can count on having it approved.

#46 Future-self

Posted 31 March 2019 - 06:27 PM

View PostJosé, on 31 March 2019 - 02:47 PM, said:



yes, agree thats preferred and probably expected.
also, at such a young age NDIS like to say its 'parental responsibility' to provide care for children.
i know quite a number of people who applied for this and none got it.
i dont think you can count on having it approved.
Not one person in the parents group I am part of got approved for this. Not one. And plenty have tried as it’s a fairly common issue. The reasons for ASC not being suitable varied in severity but it didn’t matter, including kids being so distressed that they run away and are listed as missing by police still didn’t change the outcome.

Edited by Future-self, 31 March 2019 - 06:28 PM.


#47 daybreaker

Posted 31 March 2019 - 07:54 PM

What do you think of your son attending the ASPECT school? It sounds like it could be a good option, even if it's only for a couple of years if and when his behaviour improves enough he can go back to a mainstream school. It would also take a lot of stress off you while working as you won't be getting calls and complaints from the school about his behaviour.  They may have after school care too where they're better equipped to handle him.

Your DH needs to read the reports, understand what the diagnosis is and even speak to his current school as he sounds like he's in denial and ignorant to the issues.

#48 timew

Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:02 PM

We actually have NDIS funding at the moment - he was approved last year for 'behavioural management' - the early intervention service we went to was really surprised and from what I understand now it's certainly something that doesn't happen normally. I've been in contact with our LAC who seem to be on top of it, I've provided them with the psych report and they are working closely with me in updating (if that's the term?) funding and diagnosis. Thanks for letting me know - I'll certainly bring up the potential for a support worker.

View PostNavy Blue, on 31 March 2019 - 12:40 PM, said:

When I was going through the diagnostic process with my DS everyone was saying 'there's nothing wrong with him, he's just different'. Now post diagnosis, and receiving the support he requires, those same people are saying 'isn't it great you got him the help he needs'.


Ah, yes! When my eldest was diagnosed with ASD, that's exactly, to the words, what I received from family.

Edited by timew, 31 March 2019 - 08:03 PM.


#49 timew

Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:06 PM

View Postdaybreaker, on 31 March 2019 - 07:54 PM, said:

What do you think of your son attending the ASPECT school? It sounds like it could be a good option, even if it's only for a couple of years if and when his behaviour improves enough he can go back to a mainstream school. It would also take a lot of stress off you while working as you won't be getting calls and complaints from the school about his behaviour.  They may have after school care too where they're better equipped to handle him.


I think attending the ASPECT school would be fantastic. I'm not sure of the wait lists or how it really works, but from what I've read on their website it sounds like something that would really suit him. Not getting calls from the school would reduce all this stress - every time my phone rings during the day my heart sinks anticipating a school call.

#50 Prancer is coming

Posted 31 March 2019 - 09:36 PM

View Posttimew, on 31 March 2019 - 08:06 PM, said:

Not getting calls from the school would reduce all this stress - every time my phone rings during the day my heart sinks anticipating a school call.

I think after school care will increase your stress.  Now it is just school ringing, but potentially it will be both school and after school care ringing!  At school they often have options of teachers aides or support staff if your child needs extra support or some time out of he classroom.  But after school care generally do not have these options.  My ADHD kid only goes one day and we have not had any big issues.  But as they regularly send out info around behaviour management policy, I stress about what I would do if he was asked to leave after school care.  I also find it hard to work even part time when I know things are not right with my kid at school.

With your DH, there are many reasons why he might not be on board.  I believe with Autism there is some links to it being hereditary, is it possible that your DH may also have some characteristics, which may be part of the reason he is responding how he is?






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